Letter: Count My Vote initiative will lead to much wider and enthusiastic voter participation

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  • adamgale La Verkin, UT
    Oct. 14, 2013 1:55 a.m.

    You mean, make it easier to buy an election. Without neighborhood elections, you don't have to pander to us lowly citizens, you can just buy millions of dollars of ad space, and let that do you talking. It literally silences the voice of the many. There is a reason the LDS Church supports and endorses the Caucuses.

    "Precinct caucuses are the most fundamental grassroots level of political involvement."

    -LDS Newsroom-

  • The Hammer lehi, utah
    Sept. 24, 2013 11:30 p.m.

    I wish when people submitted an opinion they actually had facts to back up what they say. Truthfully there is no evidence to suggest that an open primary would increase turnout. Truthfully there is evidence to suggest that an open primary would likely leave people less engaged as they are less connected and less courted and informed by candidates through personal meetings.

    Now that being said, the Republican party and the Democratic party could benefit from a higher threshold to avoid a primary. but this ballot initiative is short sighted, If count my vote really cared about voter participation they would focus on getting people out to caucuses for both parties. That way they can truly participate and share opinion and influence the process at the local level. Primaries don't allow for that at all, which will likely lead to less intelligence and less participation among the voting populace.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 24, 2013 10:37 p.m.

    In caucuses you are not supposed to just pick a complete stranger you know nothing about to be your delegate, just because he says he will vote for candidate A or B. You should know almost everyone in the room. They are your neighbors. Surely you know one or two who you can trust their judgment. You pick them. And if they don't win... another trust worthy person will probably win. You have to trust your neighbors. Why would your neighbors pick somebody who doesn't represent the values of the majority in the neighborhood?

    I know... the "radical" red herring...

    But... if the majority of your neighbors pick "radical" delegates... then maybe they know what they are doing. If nobody else in the room or the neighborhood are selecting the delegates you want... maybe YOU are the radical element in the group (not them).

    It's like the lady who calls her husband to warn him about a driver going the wrong way on the freeway she saw on TV, and he says, "I know... EVERYBODY is driving the wrong way"!

    You kinda have to know and trust your neighbors for the caucus system to work.

  • ijw Holladay, UT
    Sept. 24, 2013 7:22 p.m.

    To stuff and others--notice that my last sentence started with a big maybe. I respect and appreciate your comment and do not consider it a farce. You have some well thought out opinions as do others on your side. I felt that I wanted to support Mr. Ferguson for also offering his opinion with some good points on the other side. I have not made up my mind on this and also am interested in those who would want to adjust the caucus-convention system. For me that is also worthy of consideration.

    Sometimes these comment boards seem like some caucus meetings where differing opinions are ridiculed and run down. And yet there are still many nice, respectful people at the caucus meetings and the comment boards--appreciate them so much!

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 24, 2013 6:47 p.m.

    You disappointment that people would not say who they would vote for is a problem with your understanding of what the caucus is about.

    Delegates are not supposed to have their minds made up before they even go to the Convention and talk to the candidates (as you expected).

    Delegates are not supposed to just tell you who they will vote for. That's not how it works. 2012 was strange because it was almost a one-issue caucus (Hatch). But that's not what caucuses are SUPPOSED to be. Try going to another one. They usually aren't like that.

    Delegates are supposed to tell you what they are looking for in a candidate and what issues are important to them (not just tell you who they will vote for). If you pick a delegate just because they will vote for/against Hatch... how do you know how they will vote on the dozens and dozens of other issues and candidates that will come up for a vote at the Convention.

    You don't just give them your list of WHO you want them to vote for and send them to not listen but just vote your list.

  • stuff Provo, UT
    Sept. 24, 2013 4:54 p.m.

    What a farce to think that another election will result in higher citizen participation.

    The ONLY thing an election will result in is higher costs to hold the election, more time consumed (and wasted) for all volunteers and employees involved in the actual election, less grass-roots level involvement from the beginning to the end of the process, and greater costs to every candidate.

    The real winners are 1) the candidates who figure out how to dine and travel off their contributed campaign dollars, 2) those who buy a candidate via 1st, 2nd and 3rd-hand campaign contributions or other sleazy means, and 3) the media who reap the campaign dollars.

    Utah should stick with the tried-and-true caucus system that has already proven its worth in gold, so to speak. There's nothing like allowing any citizen the chance to participate on local, county and state meetings like these. Love it!

  • ijw Holladay, UT
    Sept. 24, 2013 3:19 p.m.

    I agree with Robert. I too am an independent who has mostly voted Republican. I have gone to many caucus meetings. The one we had in 2012 was great as a social event but not so much politically. Most people running for delegate refused to say who they would vote for as they wanted to get to know the candidates first. That makes sense in many ways, but they never got back to us to get our opinions at all. Many of us were frustrated. The caucus system does have some strengths but I am leaning more and more toward some kind of change. Many say the primaries will just help those with big money, but I am also tired of a certain few having all the power in the caucus no matter how many people we get out.
    Maybe more people would vote if they could have a say in who the candidates are for the final election.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Sept. 24, 2013 12:53 p.m.

    To "Robert Ferguson" we don't need higher voter turnout. We need more informed people to vote. Going to an open primary system turns thing from representatives getting to know the canidates into a system where the politician with the most money can win a popularity contest.

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    Sept. 24, 2013 12:27 p.m.


    That's why I hate the Iowa caucusus. No control over who votes. You might remember, it was Hillary who was projected to win Iowa by several points, but Obama and his people bused in thousands of Acorn peoole to overwhelm the caucus and that launched Obama to the White House. In my mind a political system than can be overrun, as happened here in Utah, with the Bennett/Lee thing and in Iowa, really is a bad and easily manipulated system. Agree?

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 24, 2013 10:58 a.m.

    Can you explain with some sort of logic to back it up... how doing away with caucuses would magically increase enthusiasm and primary turnout?

    I'd really be interested in hearing your logic behind that assumption.

    Currently we have terrible turnout for primaries. I'm wondering how just doing away with the caucuses would fix that.

  • trgrant Riverton, UT
    Sept. 24, 2013 10:48 a.m.

    If you look at the history of primaries in elections. An all primary election system would not increase voter participation. It has actually had devistating effects on voter participation.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Sept. 24, 2013 8:17 a.m.

    All you need to know about the caucus system:

    We the people wanted Bob Bennett.
    We got Mike Lee.

    If that doesn't condemn this insane system I don't know what will.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Sept. 24, 2013 8:08 a.m.

    The argumentative defense of any proposition is inversely proportional to the truth contained.

    It's mostly about control and power and wanting to keep it, where it is.

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 24, 2013 12:24 a.m.

    We already have a "bypass" system, filing as an unaffiliated candidate. A candidate can go straight to the general election ballot. Someone who doesn't think they can win if vetted by average citizens asking one on one questions can still run and spend their money. Why should they be a political party nominee if they are going to bypass their political party?

    At only one time for 10 years in Utah’s history did the state depart from the Neighborhood Election, Caucus and Convention System. In 1937, a powerful democratic state senator convinced enough of the legislature to switch to an open primary. He had had two losses, a US Senate race and also for governor, because the majority of the convention delegates disagreed with his legislative voting record. But he was well known and had money.

    Many at the time felt like an open primary was his ticket to the governorship, and he did win. But the change in the system only lasted for a decade. After public and media disillusionment, and even worse voter turnout, Utah restored the Caucus and Convention System. Why go back?

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 24, 2013 12:23 a.m.

    Take a look at voting percentages the last time Utah tried the open primary. How well did that work this year as well?

    Our current problem with voter turnout is it has not kept up with the population increases. The voter turnout keeps going up but not as fast as the population. Some of that is the younger voters, where Utah has a larger percentage of them and they aren't, as a group, as involved. We need to educate those moving in and not understanding our system.

    Many citizens who attend their neighborhood elections and caucus meeting become interested in politics and get involved in their communities, the state and the nation. They meet and help candidates become elected. Some then later become candidates. This should be encouraged through education.

    The system and the experience attending the meetings can always be improved, but the “Count My Vote” initiative isn't the way to do it. Any changes to the system the political parties use to determine their nominees should be determined by the political parties.